In many organizations, the existing customer has become an afterthought. In today's super-informed marketplace, customer referrals and word-of-mouth drive leads and close deals. The flaw with the conventional sales funnel is that it views customers as an afterthought, not a driving force. Sales funnels are good at producing customers, but they are horrible at considering how that customer can help you grow by delivering long-term revenue.
Here are some ways to flip your funnel mindset and increase the lifetime value of your customers.
Friction enters in when barriers are put in place that makes doing business with you more complicated. One way to decrease friction is to breakdown the natural silos that typically exist in many organizations. A process of communication and engagement is critical to your customer's success. Ask yourself these questions: Are all your teams aligned or are they operating in silos? Is your pricing straightforward or is it cluttered with confusing fees? Do you allow customers to connect with you how, when, and where they want or are they forced to follow your strict process? You will not increase the lifetime value of your customer if you continue to allow friction to inhibit your relationship, and most likely, your competition will come along with less friction and scoop them up.
Take a closer look at your funnel and find ways to decrease friction.
Products and Services for Growth
When was the last time you or someone within your organization evaluated your product or services offering from the eyes of the client to determine fit and need? Many organizations think they know what their clients want and need, but in reality, they have no idea. So, ask! The key here is that you really need to listen and ask opened ended questions that will generate the responses you are looking for, such as “what other products or services are you currently evaluating or have recently purchased?”. The answer to this question can help you identify potential products and services that may be a fit for other customers. Extending your product and services set will allow you to both increase revenue and retention.
Show You Care
It’s human nature to want to feel as though someone cares. It doesn’t take a ton of effort to show your customer that you care for them, that you haven’t forgotten that they exist, and that you appreciate their business. However, this is where many sales people and sales teams miss the mark. Think of the customer as a new prospect that you put back into the funnel and continue working in an attempt to harvest additional revenue, referrals and testimonials. Develop a habit of scheduling time with your customers at least twice a year.
Lastly, if you take the time to invest in transparent, easy-to-understand processes that truly serve your customers, you just might find yourself at the top, but if your company is difficult to navigate or relies on less-than-honest tactics, don’t be surprised when people start walking out the door.